Student-built car achieves 2,487.5 mpg


April 4, 2010

Laval University's 2,487.5mpg NTF 4.0, crossing the finish line at the 2010 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas

Laval University's 2,487.5mpg NTF 4.0, crossing the finish line at the 2010 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas

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The NTF 4.0, a car built by a team of students from Laval University in Quebec, Canada, achieved an astonishing 2,487.5 mpg (US) a week ago at the 2010 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas in Houson, Texas. The feat earned the team the $US5,000 grand prize in the Prototype category, in which fuel-efficiency can be achieved through designs that are... well, that are as radically streamlined and lightweight as possible, really. The combustion-engined NTF (any ideas what that stands for?) was by no means the only impressive vehicle at the event, however.

The Eco-Marathon featured 42 teams representing 9 high schools and 28 universities from across the Americas, plus one team from Italy. Vehicles could be powered by any conventionally available energy source - the 47 vehicles competing in this year’s event incorporated engines powered by combustion, hydrogen/fuel cell technology, solar power and diesel. The object of the contest was simply to see which vehicles could travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy, on a downtown Houston course.

The Laval team won in the Prototype category for the second year in a row - last year, they achieved an even more amazing 2,757.1 mpg. The event also included an UrbanConcept category, in which the vehicles had to be designed with practicality and real-world use in mind. The team from Indiana’s Mater Dei High School took the $5,000 grand prize in that category, for their 437.2 mpg combustion-engined car named George. This was also their second win in as many years.

Prizes were also awarded in areas such as ecologically-friendly construction, safety, and technical innovation.

“It is a clear demonstration that we're never too young to start making energy innovations and efficiency a priority,” said Mark Singer, global project manager for the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas. “It was inspiring to see these vehicles of the future on the streets of downtown Houston this year.”

As a point of reference, the current title-holder for World's Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicle is the hydrogen-powered ETH Zurich PAC-Car II, which in 2005 achieved 12,666mpg.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Woaw I would\'ve never imagined that northern-american teams from such prestigious universities would finish that much behind the prototype that won the european contest in 2009 (with approximately 8869 mpg).

But here i\'m assuming that the rules are the same for both competitions, which could be completely false. The article is unfortunately lacking a few important details: What was the minimum average speed to reach in Houston ? Was there a minimum weight ? Was the cricuit slopy or completely flat ?

I\'m looking forward for a comparison article when the 2010 European and Asian races are completed.


In customer service lingo, \'NTF\' usually is shorthand for \'No Trouble Found\'. Don\'t know if that\'s what the designers were thinking.

George Van Wagner

NTF = Not Too Fuel-hungry? NTF = Not Terribly Fast? NTF = Nimble Trumps Fancy?


NTF-Nimble Triathaletes Fail

Facebook User

This is a bad joke of a contest. Make real world street legal vehicles that are useful then it would be worhwhile.

I drive my Harley size trike MC EV every day and it gets 600mpg equivalent, 1k mpge if charged by wind, solar rather than powerplants. I can build personal transport modules that get 2k mpge so just what is this contest worth?


i hope they are not wasting our tax dollars for these useless kinds of vehicles. I would prefer a vehicle which does worse mileage but is less MORONIC-lookin.


NTF - Not Too Faggy

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